Watermain Cleaning Program 2019


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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Update: Watermain Swabbing in some areas of Ward 3 on October 9 and 10, 2019

Some areas of Ward 3 will be undergoing watermain swabbing on October 9 and 10, 2019. Work will take place between the hours of 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. to minimize disruption. Residents and businesses will be notified in advance of the swabbing. See maps below for more information. 

October 9 Watermain Swabbing Map

October 10 Watermain Swabbing Map

Note: This watermain swabbing work was originally scheduled for August, but had to be postponed due to road reconstruction in these areas.

Watermain cleaning in Wards 2, 3, and 5 from July 21 to August 16, 2019

From July 21 to August 16, the Town of Newmarket and York Region will be conducting watermain cleanning from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in specific areas of Wards 2, 3 and 5. On July 31, watermain cleaning will take place between the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Town will be conducting watermain swabbing, to do a thorough cleaning of several watermains that, over time, see a build-up of sediment.

Before the scheduled watermain cleaning operation, it is recommended that residents:

  • Turn off their water valve, located next to the watermeter to prevent water use
  • Fill a clean container with tap water for drinking and cooking (store in fridge)
  • Complete all dishwashing, clothes washing, and other water-use activities
  • Fill their bathtub with water for use around the house (residents may want to use a pail to transfer water from the bathtub to flush their toilet)

During the scheduled watermain cleaning operation, residents should avoid using water for any purpose. The watermain cleaning operation is expected to take approximately eight to 10 hours to complete which includes set-up and removal of equipment.

Affected households will be notified at least 48 hours in advance through the use of door hangers. Businesses will be notified at least 72 hours in advance through a hand-delivered letter. Information will also be provided on what to do before, during, and after the watermain cleaning program is complete for their area and the scheduled time and date.

Residents who are having treatment for dialysis at home or have any other medical condition that requires constant water service, please contact the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193 immediately.

After the watermain cleaning operation, residents may notice some discolouration in their water due to the sediment that was swabbed and flushed from the watermains. If this occurs, run a cold water tap until the water is clear.

For more information, view the Watermain Cleaning Program Frequently Asked Questions​ or view a map of the affected area
2019 water main cleaning program affected area map

Watermain swabbing 

The Town of Newmarket uses a variety of industry-approved techniques - like watermain swabbing – to do a thorough cleaning of watermains that, over time, see a build-up of sediment. 

Watermain swabbing involves inserting a foam sponge – or 'swab' – into the watermain through a fire hydrant. The diameter of the swab is slightly larger than the watermain, and it is pushed along through the watermain using water pressure. As it passes through, the swab clears any sediment that has built up inside the watermain. The swab is then pushed up and released through another fire hydrant.

The Town always does its best to reduce impacts to Newmarket residents and businesses. However, during the cleaning process, some residents' usage may be impacted for a short period of time. Residents in the affected households are notified at least 24 hours in advance that watermain cleaning will be taking place on their street, and are provided with information on what to do with their water while they wait.

Learn more about the Town of Newmarket's Watermain Cleaning Program by watching the video below:


Watermain Flushing

Watermain flushing is an integral component of the Town's water preventative maintenance program. Uni-directional flushing (UDF) refers to a method of watermain flushing which cleans the watermain lines through a network of flushing sequences - with the water being discharged from a fire hydrant at high velocities. Doing so will remove any mineral deposits, biofilm, and/or sediment that accumulates in watermains and helps maintain the water quality in our system. UDF is the most effective means of watermain flushing, and has been proven to use 40 per cent less water than conventional flushing methods. 

While it is safe to use/drink your water during UDF, it is best to avoid using water for any purpose. If you use water during UDF, unwanted sediment could be drawn into your household water lines, filters, or tanks. Please check your drinking, cooking, and laundry water before using. Should you experience air and/or discoloured water in your lines after UDF, please remove all faucet screens and slowly open the cold water taps, starting at the lowest level of your property and proceeding to the upper levels as applicable. Let the water run for several minutes to clear the lines. Once the lines are clear, close each tap and re-insert faucet screens, starting at the lowest level then proceeding to the upper levels.

We apologize for any inconvenience this work may present and thank you for your cooperation and support.

Need more information? Read the Watermain Cleaning Program Frequently Asked Questions​.

To speak with someone about this program, please call 905-895-5193.​​

Additional Resources: